Vanuatu

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What if you said “YES”?

‎What if YOU said “Yes?”

That is precisely what a self described “granny,” the married mother of three daughters and two grandchildren, responded to the mandate of Christ to go into all
the world with a simple “Yes, Lord.” It was upon that call that she began Walk on Water Ministries when she heard the Spirit urging her to get out of the boat and do the seemingly impossible. What she has discovered is that now that she has said, “Yes;” God meets her every time she steps out!

This lady had served the Lord as an Area Representative with Voice of the Martyrs for a number of years. But sensing God was initiating a change, she began to familiarize herself with the island nations of the world. In so doing, the Lord began to speak to her regarding the small nation of Vanuatu; a group of small islands of the South Pacific approximately 1000 miles east of northern Australia.

About two years ago as she made plans for her first trip to Vanuatu, she began to ask God that she be permitted to meet with a Custom Chief. By asking God to meet a man who was a chief among the native culture she was aware that she would be coming up against all kinds of evil; including black magic, curses and nature worship. But she was also well aware that the heart of the Chief was key to winning the hearts of the people.

Her prayer was soon answered when a healing of a young man in the village resulted in the opening of the heart of Chief Jack of the Yakel Tribe. The Chief listened intently as she told him of Jesus; Genesis to Revelation. After sharing the Good News with Chief Jack,he asked that he, too, be born again. But true to the heart of a chief, Jack was concerned for his people. He requested prayer that he would be able to lead his entire village to Christ!

Preaching in the village continued for seven days and a great number of people were healed by the power of the Holy Spirit. When she expressed her concern to God over the lack of salvations, He gently reminded her that His kindness would lead the village people to Him. (Rom. 2:4) Soon after her return home, she received word that revival had begun in the village. The Kingdom was coming…..and all because one woman had said “Yes.”

God has granted her great favor among the people of Vanuatu. Only His favor could have opened the doors that have been opened to her in the face of long standing traditions and the devaluing of both white men and of women. Although the Custom ways of the tribes have been followed for hundreds of years, God has seen fit to put it on the heart of those whom she meets to set those traditions aside so that ‘this woman’ might share Jesus with them.

Among the many unexpected doors opened by God’s favor is the one among the John Frum Cargo Cult. This cult which originated in the 1930’s still thrives on the islands of Vanuatu and is entrenched in much of the culture. Preaching the return of the islands’ prosperity to the native peoples, the group has in the past rejected modernization and Christianity. Many followers believe that John Frum will return\one day and hail him as their god. (information from Wikipedia)

Yet, God has made this an open door to her. The current leader of this cult, Chief Isaac Wan asked that she lay hands on him and pray in spite of the fact that cult beliefs forbid Christian prayer on properties owned by the cult. The Chief and his assistant were both visibly ‘moved’ by the power of the Holy Spirit as He came upon them when hands were laid upon them. As a result, doors have opened for the preaching of the gospel in various locations which are John Frum strongholds and a number of healings have already been seen there. Again, God reminds that His kindness brings to repentance and salvations are following as a result. Chief Wan has also granted her permission to preach the gospel on the grounds of the John Frum Headquarters!

On her most recent trip to Vanuatu, she spent the entire summer with the people. Having been asked to come to live among them in order to teach them how to follow Jesus, the new believers lovingly welcomed her with her own hut. Due to the extended stay, she was able to visit many places she had not visited before, taking the Gospel to those who have not yet heard. As in previous trips, God came in much power for healing and deliverance displaying the power of His great love for these people. Being the first missionary to ever go the Yakel and to live with them, she is thrilled that God has permitted her to be a part of what He is doing among them.

Although challenges on this small island nation have been many, she has found on each of her six trips that His strength is made perfect in her weakness. Whether facing threat of a tsunami, miles of walking in blazing sun, or traversing rain swollen rivers, God has continually shown His strength and manifest grace. Healings continue daily, multiplied time and time again – a young child who walks that could not before – broken bones– deaf ears – demons cast out – people healed of all manner of sickness and infirmities.

Regarding the ‘God adventure’ of this ordinary woman, she says, “When I went to Vanuatu the first time, the only thing I had were tickets and the picture of the Yakel tribe etched on my heart. I traveled alone except for the presence of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know the language but I did know His gentle voice. I didn’t know how I would be received but I did have His favor. I knew that I was just a little woman but that His power had residence in me. That, along with the compelling, “GO” of the gospel was enough. It is Jesus that I live for and Jesus wanted the Yakel.”

“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.” – Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf